Bihar: ASHA workers block trains on day 27 of indefinite strike

ASHA

As the indefinite strike, launched by Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in Bihar on December 1, entered day 27, the anger was vented out by the protesters by blocking trains all across the state.

ASHA workers were out there in large numbers and blocked rail lines in Darbhanga, Bhojpur, Muzaffarpur, Patna. A passenger train was also stopped at  Sidhwalai station in Gopalganj, NewsD reported.

Patna-Mokama route was affected for half an hour after a train was stopped by the protesters at Fatuha railway station.

In September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to increase the monthly honorarium of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) and Anganwadi workers across the country and said that it was a “Diwali gift” for the workers.

“Those who drew an honorarium of Rs 3,000 will from now on get Rs 4,500 and those who used to get Rs 2,200 will get Rs 3,500,” he had said.

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PM Modi had also stated that these workers would be brought under schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana.

He had announced that the hike would come into effect from October and would reflect in their salaries that they would receive November onwards, but the same has not turned into reality till date.

According to NewsD, some of the demands of the ASHA workers are:

  • Government employee status for ASHA workers;
  • Minimum Rs. 18,000 monthly honorarium;
  • 50 per cent reservation in nursing schools for eligible ASHA workers
  • After training ASHA workers to be given exemption in age limit and appointed as ANMs;
  • 50 per cent BCM (Block Community Coordinators) posts for eligible ASHA facilitators;
  • ASHA workers should get benefit of all high level committee recommendations including work terms and conditions and honorarium;
  • ESI (Employees’ State Insurance), EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and social security for all ASHA workers.
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